The Lost Key

to (help &) commemorate civilian victims

civilian victims of/in Ypres

No one will deny that the First World War cost the lives of many civilians - both residents and refugees - in Ypres: civilians are always and everywhere the first victims of war. The List of Names counts more than 700 civilian victims for Ypres. But in a commemorative landscape that is mainly coloured by the military, they are still not mentioned by name anywhere. With this project, the In Flanders Fields Museum wants to change this.

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keys in the street

For the commemoration of the Ypres civilian victims, Amsterdam artist Jeroen Bisscheroux came up with a bronze key. The keys are produced by Foundry Van Geert. Each one names a victim and adds the date of death and age. The keys are literally placed on the street, in places that remind of the death of the named victim. As a passer-by, you don't have to notice them; but if you do, the city reveals its wartime past in a flash.


The realisation of this long-term project is based on public funding. Everyone who feels connected or wants to contribute to the commemoration of civilian victims of the First World War can become patron of a key. Family, relatives, current residents, interested visitors, organisations or associations - in short: everyone. The price per copy is 150 € (production, engraving, placement).


the artist

La Clé Perdue / The Lost Key

As if those keys were lost, and ended up there by accident. As a passer-by you notice one. All of a sudden. You bend over. You want to pick it up but you can't. It is anchored in the stones. There is a name on it. The name of someone who once lived on this spot and was ripped from his life by the violence of war. A little further on you find more keys, grouped together. The family names are the same on all of them.

Jeroen Bisscheroux

keys & victims in the city

All remembrance keys scattered around the city are marked on this city map.

Move and enlarge the map, and click on the pins to learn the story behind each key.